By Ray Winkler, co-writer of ‘Welcome To My World’

A tape recording of this tribute has been recently auctioned on Ebay and  saved for posterity by three fans. It has very probably been transmitted in the weekend of Jim’s death. The tribute precedes the one that Ray Winkler released to the tune of ‘Welcome To My World’, that was a much shorter version. This tribute says it all, the friendship one can feel for an other human being, and the grief of losing such a friend.

The world of Jim Reeves was a world of entertainment, a world of music, a world of songs, a whirlwind tours and one night stands, a world of hard knocks and brilliant triumphs, a world of laughter, and a world of love for those.

Everyone of those, whose world of Jim Reeves is now a world of heartaches, sadness and tears. Jim Reeves liked everybody, but he truly loved his fine family, and the people who worked with him, his business manager Ray Baker, his loyal and true secretary Joyce Gray, Dean Manuel who died with him, and all of the famous Blue Boys, all of these people, they were his people, he loved them all. He respected them for their loyalty to him.

And to him, there was only one girl in the whole world, his Mary, his wonderful wife Mary, whom he loved so very much. But now it’s all over. When Jim Reeves died, millions cried. No one sang a single song on his funeral, no one could, because the voice of Jim Reeves, and the man ‘Gentleman Jim’, can never be replaced. Replaced by no one, however great. And the songs that started it all, just ten short years ago, were ‘Mexican Joe’, and the famous ‘Bimbo’.  - The World of Jim Reeves.

Jim Reeves, the son of a sharecrop farmer in East Texas. Jim Reeves the disk jockey, the baseball pitcher, the singer, the song writer, the artist, the world famed artist. Jim Reeves - the friend, Jim Reeves - the gentleman, Jim Reeves – the fine husband,

I first met Jim Reeves here in the KZIP studio, eight years ago, and we were great and true friends ever since. And my favorite song of his at that time was a song just out and recorded by Jim, and written by his wonderful wife Mary, a song entitled: ‘Where Does A Broken Heart Go’. - The world of Jim Reeves.

Jim Reeves was not a jack of all trades, but he was a master of everything he did. Whatever he did, he did it the very best. He traded a bushel of pears for his first guitar. He taught himself how to play that guitar. How to sing, how to style a song, how to sell a song. What a great and wonderful teacher Jim Reeves really was. And what great versatility Jim Reeves employed as an artist. Masterful performances of Whispering Sands, Moonlight And Roses, He’ll Have To Go, I Was Just Walking Out Of The Door, A Room Full Of Roses, and a thousand more. - The world of Jim Reeves.

Jim Reeves was everybody’s favorite, I never met or knew a single person who didn’t like Jim Reeves both as a person and as a great artist. But Jim Reeves had his favorite artist too. We asked him once who it was: :“Marty Robbins can sing like Caruso thought he could sing.” I later told Marty Robbins what Jim has said. Marty thought for a long moment and asked: “Did he really say that?” He sure did. Jim Reeves, the favorite, and his favorite song was ‘Four Walls’. - The eternal songs of Jim Reeves

Jim Reeves, to my personal knowledge, never passed a radio station without stopping in and saying “ Howdy”. Jim Reeves took the time to make friends, and took more time to keep them. Everybody loves Jim, nobody can sing a song like ‘Gentleman Jim’. I once heard a person say : “If Jim Reeves ever recorded a song that can do much for him as he does for it, it would be oh no telling how great’. Jim made them all sound so easy to sing, and when he was reminded of it on a national tv show he said: “ Just lazy”. Lazy or not, he made them all sound so great, and when of his all time greatest of all time was ‘He’ll Have To Go’ - The world of Jim Reeves.

I had the privilege and pleasure to be waiting backstage on so many, many enjoyable occasions but Jim Reeves would finish his performances , and he always said the very same thing after every performance : “The people seems to like me, I hope they would. I did my best. I always thank God for making it possible. And although t is hard work, it is easier than picking cotton”.  That was the real Jim Reeves, the most humble and appreciative Jim Reeves, who is to be found in the words of the biggest hymns Jim wrote and recorded, you heard it many times; ‘We Thank Thee’. - The world of Jim Reeves

His world on Earth is over, and when the angels sing tonight, a new voice will ring out in that heavenly choir, the voice of Jim Reeves, the man I was so proud, so very proud to call ‘my friend’. I wish I could have known Jim Reeves all my life. My friend Jim Reeves, your friend Jim Reeves, and everybody’s friend Jim Reeves.

Jim Reeves is gone, we say goodbye, but the eternal songs of Jim Reeves will never die.